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Police briefs

July 13, 2007

Teen injured in Cearfoss accident



CEARFOSS - A 17-year-old Hagerstown-area girl was injured at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when the Chevrolet Cavalier she was driving east on Cearfoss Pike failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the center line and struck a tree head-on, according to Trooper 1st Class Shane Bussard of the Maryland State Police.

Bussard declined to identify the teen, citing her age, but said she was taken to Washington County Hospital with injuries. Bussard said her family told him she suffered cuts to her face, broken ribs and a broken femur. He said she underwent surgery Thursday and would remain hospitalized.

Smithsburg apartment fire claims lizards



SMITHSBURG - A fire damaged an apartment Thursday evening at 2 Water St. in Smithsburg, displacing a couple who had moved into the building just three days before and killing two of their pet lizards, according to Assistant Chief Chuck Johnson of the Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Co.

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Johnson said one Smithsburg firefighter, Kyle Minnick, was treated for heat exhaustion and released from Washington County Hospital.

The fire, reported shortly after 5:30 p.m., was confined to a third-floor bedroom in the apartment, Johnson said. About 40 firefighters from six area fire companies responded, with the first responders reaching the building within two minutes of the call. Johnson said he was awaiting word from the fire marshal on the cause of the fire and the estimated damage.

He did not know the names of the apartment's occupants, but said they were new to the area. Their 17 other lizards survived, he said.- Tamela Baker

Sheriff's deputies respond to calls



The Washington County Sheriff's Department responded to the following incidents Wednesday, according to Sgt. Roy Harsh:

· At 12:22 p.m., theft was reported in the 12800 block of Resh Road. A wallet containing $200 was taken from a home.

· At 4:01 p.m., theft from a motor vehicle was reported in the 20100 block of Daniel's Circle. A shift knob and cooler were taken from a vehicle.

· At 5:51 p.m., theft was reported in the 1220 block of Security Road. A Diamondback Joker bicycle valued at about $300 was reported stolen.

· At 7:20 p.m., breaking and entering was reported at the Staples Distribution Center, 11540 Hopewell Road. Computer equipment and other electronic equipment valued at $4,000 was stolen.

· At 11:04 p.m., theft was reported in the 119000 block of Greenhill Drive. Items were missing from a shed.

Guilty pleas entered in U.S. District Court



MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - United States Attorney Sharon L. Potter announced the following guilty pleas have been entered before Magistrate David J. Joel in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg:

· Kristie Belger, 24, of Martinsburg, entered a plea of guilty Tuesday to one count of being a drug user in possession of a firearm on March 21, 2006, in Martinsburg. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

· Frederick Dean Ritchie, 71, of Broadway, Va., entered a plea of guilty on July 5 to one count of false swearing by presenting a counterfeit document to take a deceased veteran's identity in order to get medical benefits at the VA Hospital in Martinsburg. He faces five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

· Guadalupe Delacruz, 28, and Jose Paniagua, 22, both of Martinsburg, entered guilty pleas July 5 to one count each of possession of false "green cards." Each faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

· Dayshawn Owens, 30, of Keyser, W.Va., entered a guilty plea Tuesday to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base on Oct. 16, 2003, in Keyser. Owens faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a fine of $4 million.

· James Delano Thomas, 29, of Gainesville, Va., entered a guilty plea on July 3 to one count of using and carrying a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense on June 24, 2006. He faces a sentence of five years to life in prison and a fine of $250,000.

· Randy Lee Robinson Jr., 25, of Martinsburg, entered a guilty plea on July 2 to one count of possession of crack cocaine with the intent to distribute on March 10, 2006, in Martinsburg. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and a fine of $2 million.

· Andrew Miller, 30, of Inwood, W.Va., entered a guilty plea Tuesday to one count of theft of government property while working as an employee of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive for stealing two firearms from the Firearms Technology branch. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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